Faculty of Business and Economics

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Business and Economics
OfferedCaulfield First semester 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Professor Mervyn Silvapulle


This unit provides an introduction to probability theory and statistical inference for graduate studies in econometrics and business statistics and related fields. It is intended to prepare research students for a range of other units in econometrics and business statistics. The first part will cover basic probability theory and the second half will be concerned with aspects of statistical inference. Some prior exposure to the topics to at least the advanced undergraduate level will be assumed. This unit is designed for PhD students who intend to write a thesis in econometrics or business statistics. It is not intended for PhD students in other disciplines who need to learn some basic quantitative techniques for the empirical section of their dissertations, although students from other departments who are interested in more advanced methods may wish to take this unit.


The learning goals associated with this unit are to:

  1. ensure that students have the necessary familiarity with the essentials of probability theory and statistical inference to be able to read graduate level books and journal articles in econometrics and business statistics
  2. minimise rote learning and to encourage students to provide justification to econometric and statistical ideas and to derive results from first principals. To this end, students need to know the basic definitions, concepts and the chain of arguments on which the econometric and statistical theory is built.


Within semester assessment: 30%
Examination: 70%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. Independent study may include associated readings, assessment and preparation for scheduled activities. The unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


Students must be enrolled in either the 3194 Master of Philosophy or the 0029 Doctor of Philosophy to enrol in this unit.